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Legislation to prohibit the use of tanning beds by anyone under the age of 18 will come into effect Sept. 1.
Health and Wellness Minister Doug Currie says Prince Edward Island has one of the highest rates of Melanoma (skin cancer) in the country and the World Health Organization has stated that using tanning devices before 35 years of age increases the risk of skin cancer by 75 per cent.
He said ultimately the goal is to reduce exposure to UV light and reduce the number of new cases of skin cancer.
A recent review of studies by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has resulted in re-classifying the use of tanning beds to the highest cancer risk group “Group I” carcinogen. As well, the World Health Organization has recently upgraded the risk associated with ultra violet exposure including tanning devices to the most extreme cancer category.
The restriction on tanning bed use falls under the new Public Health Act.
“By prohibiting tanning for minors, we are attempting to reach this age group before they have a chance to adopt unhealthy behaviors which can have negative health impacts later in life,” said Currie.